Barbara Probst

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Barbara Probst (born 1964 in Munich) is a contemporary photographer who lives and works in New York and Munich. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, München) and Art Academy Düsseldorf (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf) in Germany.[1] She relocated to New York in 2000.

In Probst’s photographs, the subject of the work becomes the photographic moment of exposure itself. Using a radio-controlled release system, or multiple photographers, she simultaneously triggers the shutters of several cameras pointed at the same scene from various viewpoints. The resulting sequences of images suspend time and stretch out the split second. The prismatic effect is further heightened when backdrops, often enlarged stills from well-known movies are employed. The apparent narrative is confounded by the multiple locations, which further enhance the sense of artifice. Both illusion and device are always manifest - cameras, studio lights, tripods are all visible. These, as well as the photographer(s) themselves, are both object and viewpoint of a revelatory, photographic exposure.

"Barbara Probst embroils us in different possible interpretations; focusing on a specific moment in time… she directs our attention to the time before or after…"[2] Her work disregards photography’s standard concept of “decisive moment,” and instead references cinema’s practice of multiple cameras to create movement and diversion.[3]

Recent shows include a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen that travelled to the Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague and the Centre PasquArt, Biel. Recent group exhibitions include Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Eyes on the Street, Cincinnati Art Museum, (Mis)Understanding Photography: Works and Manifestos, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Per Speculum Me Video at Frankfurter Kunstverein, Lost Places. Sites of Photography at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Mixed Use Manhattan: Photography and Related Practices, 1970s to the Present, curated by Lynne Cooke and Douglas Crimp at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Elles at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, at the Tate Modern, London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Probst was featured in the 2006 New Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and has had solo exhibitions at Oldenburg Kunstverein; Stills Gallery Edinburgh, Scotland; Domaine de Kerguehennec, Bignan; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Barbara Probst’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Centre Pompidou; the Lenbachhaus, Munich; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Folkwang Museum.


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